Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program

Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program

As part of an intensive one-year M.Ed. program that leads to licensure, Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars learn how to flourish as K–12 teachers in urban schools through a curriculum that prioritizes critical inquiry, social justice education, and community building.

At a Glance

How many courses?

The number of courses varies by program of study. 

How long will it take?

Full-time students complete the program in one year.

When can I start?

Students must begin the program in the summer semester in order to complete the program in one year. 

Programs of Study

Donovan Scholars select the desired program from the list below which correlates with a state license. You may choose any state to become licensed in and will complete the appropriate assessment(s). For example, a person seeking a teacher license in Massachusetts will complete their educator preparation program (M.Ed.), receive endorsement, and pass the MTELs required for the subject area/grade level.

Early Childhood Education

Learn to teach, challenge, and nurture a diverse range of Pre-K–2 students.

Elementary Education

The Elementary Education program is designed for students who wish to teach in grades 1-6.

Secondary Education

Students can select one of three secondary education degree programs: Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T), and Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T)

Moderate Special Needs

This program prepares teachers to work with PreK-8 and 5-12 students with mild to moderate disabilities.

Why the Donovan Program?

Supportive Cohort Experience

Donovan Scholars participate in cohort-centered courses and professional development courses. In addition, scholars in our cohorts are provided opportunities to leverage the dense bonding and diverse bridging relationships that are built into their practicum experiences to grow as teachers and educators. Ultimately, our graduates go on to enjoy rewarding positions in urban education settings around the world.  

Commitment to Diversity

Driven by the philosophy that educator diversity within urban schools should reflect the diverse population of students they serve, the program commits to recruiting aspiring educators of color. Each year the program welcomes a diverse cohort of up to 30 graduate students, many of whom were educated in urban schools themselves, and aspire to give back to their communities in constructive and lifelong ways.

Year-Long Practicum

Donovan Scholars are committed to pre- or full- practicum (student teaching) in our partner urban schools in mini-cohorts with our Donovan alumni. Additionally, the program has the capacity to adapt practicum requirements, if you are working as a teacher or teaching assistant in the local area. Learn more about the practicum here

Inquiry-Based Urban Teacher Education

The Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program builds on specific programs of study and intergrates interactive year-long shared inquiry seminars, classroom-based research, exploration of the relationships beteween theory and practice, and co-construction of critical perspectives about teaching, learning, and schooling.

Alumni Community and Engagement

Strong alumni mentoring and induction opportunities are provided for Donovan Scholars after graduation.


Select school and community partners include:


Boston Public Schools

Epiphany School and Early Learning Center

Campus Without Walls

Somerville High School

Snowden International School

Bridge Boston Charter School

Neighborhood House Charter

Substantial Financial Assistance

All Donovan Scholars receive a minimum of 50% tuition remission. In addition, the Lynch School Graduate Admissions and Urban Outreach Initiatives Offices work with each Donovan Scholar to create a generous financial package that may include additional grants, internships, and scholarships. Financial aid awards may include a Sharp Urban Teacher Scholarship from the the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, which provides financial support for graduate students from underrepresented groups committed to teaching in urban schools.

Upon graduation, Donovan Scholars commit to teach in urban schools (Catholic, charter, or public) for at least three years.

In many ways, my work is a continuation of what I started as a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar at BC. That program prepares educators to teach in urban classrooms in Boston. Over the years, it has been an important pipeline for developing equity-minded and social-justice-minded educators who teach to the whole student. Four of my former students have gone through the program and are now teachers themselves. To be able to see them in classrooms is just a really rewarding thing.
Dr. Charles Grandson IV, Chief Equity and Strategy Officer, Boston Public Schools

Distinguished Donovan Alumni

Michelle Sanchez

Dr. Michelle Sanchez
Principal of Epiphany School

Ashana Hurd

Ashana Hurd
Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Urban Outreach at Boston College

Sam Texeira

Sam Texeira
Teacher at Chicago Public Schools, 2019 Boston Public Schools Educator of the Year

Kevin Dua

Kevin Dua
Founding Board Member at Ideation4, 2017 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year

Dr. Charles Grandson

Dr. Charles Grandson IV
Chief Equity, Strategy Officer, and Senior Advisor to the Superintendent at Boston Public Schools

Katharine Atkins Pattenson

Katherine Atkins Pattenson
Middle School Teacher at Gardner Pilot Academy

Marcus Penny

Marcus Penny
STEM Instructional Coach at
Boston Public Schools

Carmen Pierre Canel

Carmen Pierre Canel
Leadership Coach and Former Middle School
Principal of Academy of the Pacific Rim
Charter School

Mwalimu Donker Issa

Mwalimu Donker Issa
Coordinator of Target Programs at BPS





If you have questions about the application, please email If you have questions regarding the receipt of application materials, please email

Application & Deadlines

In order to apply to the Donovan program, applicants must:

  1. Demonstrate a prior commitment and passion to meeting the needs of children and families in urban areas.

  2. Submit an application to the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and be accepted into a M.Ed. of Education program in early childhood, elementary, secondary, or moderate special needs education. (Please check Donovan in the pull-down menu. Indicate your interest in Urban Education and Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars in your personal statement). 

  3. At this time, Donovan Scholars are not able to participate in dual-licensure programs because the amount of required credits exceeds the length of the one-year program.

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants. To view the list of approved waivers, view the Application Fee Waiver criteria below.

Upon graduation, Donovan Scholars commit to teach in urban schools (Catholic, charter or public) for at least 3 years.

Application Fee Waivers


  • Application Priority Deadline: January 4


To be uploaded to your online application form. 

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, and language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.



Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online application form. 

1. In 1,000 - 1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

2. In addition to describing your academic and professional goals and relevant experience, the intention of your personal statement is to demonstrate your writing skills as you describe your future plans, expectations, and aspirations. A personal statement is required of applicants to all graduate programs and should be approximately 1,000-1,500 words, double-spaced.

Letters of Recommendation

  1. Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online application form. 

  2. Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice.


As part of the admissions process, qualifying prospective candidates will be invited to participate in an interview for the Donovan program. The interview provides an opportunity for the selection committee to assess each candidate's suitability for the program and evaluate their skills, experiences, and motivations. It is an essential step in the application process, allowing candidates to showcase their unique qualities and demonstrate their commitment to the program's objectives.



Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in lieu of official transcripts for the application review process.

If you would like to submit official transcripts, please note the following:

  • Official transcripts from domestic colleges and universities can be submitted in one of two ways: hard copy transcripts can be mailed or delivered to admissions in the original sealed envelope, or electronic transcripts may be submitted to  

  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.


Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:

Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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